Essential oils: Devenish's European market launch aimed at boosting intestinal health in poultry

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Wirestock
© GettyImages/Wirestock

Related tags Feed conversion ratio Devenish layer egg shell Essential oil Broiler Salmonella

Devenish has introduced OregoPro to the European market, a product designed to enhance the performance of poultry flocks.

The Northern Ireland-based company claims OregoPro, containing oregano essential oil (OEO) with carvacrol and thymol as active components, exhibits benefits in improving intestinal health and nutrient absorption.

Oregano's proven anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are advantageous during stressful periods, it added.

Devenish said studies it has run underscore the product's effectiveness, with notable improvements in egg production, eggshell thickness, and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) in layer trials. In broilers, research demonstrates enhanced FCR and reduced lesion scores, said the producer.

Dr Bronagh Owens, poultry sector director at Devenish, told us the European launch builds upon the company's successful commercialization of OregoPro in the US over the past two years, which was supported by trials conducted at Southern Poultry Feed and Research in Athens, Georgia.

The studies aimed to assess OregoPro's impact on performance and intestinal lesion scores in Cobb 500 broilers facing cocci challenges. Owens reports that unchallenged broilers exhibited superior weight gain, FCR, and lower intestinal lesion scores compared to challenged counterparts. OregoPro outperformed a competitor product in terms of FCR, she stated.

Explaining the product's mode of action, Owens references a paper by Zhang et al, 2021, showing intestinal health can be improved by the supplementation of OEO, promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and inhibiting pathogenic ones.

Furthermore, work done by Burt, 2004, she said, demonstrates that carvacol and thymol have an antibacterial effect and can disturb the structure of pathogenic bacteria cell membranes and cause their death.

Decrease in E coli and Salmonella

Other studies have shown a decrease in E coli and Salmonella with the use of OEO.

Again, Zhang et al 2021 showed OEO contributes to a balanced gut microflora, that it enhances endogenous enzyme secretion and therefore overall feed digestibility. Additional papers show OEO minimizes inflammation caused by pathogenic bacteria, strengthens functions of the intestinal barrier, and improves absorptive surface area for nutrient availability, according to Owens.

Further papers underscore OEO's antioxidant properties, which protect against cell damage by increasing endogenous antioxidant enzyme activity and eliminating harmful free radicals. Studies on poultry have shown that OEO supplementation alters the intestinal mucosa, stimulating the humoral immune system to secrete more antibodies, preventing further damage, she continued.

In layers, research from literature has shown improvements in egg weight of 0.3-0.9g (Gao et al, 2022), egg production of 2-12% (He et al, 2017; Ramirez et al, 2021; Gao et al, 2022) and eggshell thickness (0.018-0.023mm). In broilers, the data confirms improvements in FCR of between 1-10 points and bodyweight of 15-90g (Alp et al, 2012; Ding et al, 2022; Mathlouthi et al, 2011; Roofchaee et al, 2016; Tsinas et al, 2011; Giannenas et al, 2003), reports Owens.

Addressing the cost-effectiveness of incorporating OregoPro, she notes that the recommended inclusion level and Return on Investment (ROI) depend on the specific operational environment, with Devenish nutritionists available for guidance.

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